Did you know that aside from volunteering and donating, you can also contribute to WRS’ wildlife conservation efforts by simply visiting one of the four parks?
Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) is dedicated to the management of world-leading zoological institutions—Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, and Singapore Zoo—that aim to inspire people to value and conserve biodiversity by providing meaningful and memorable wildlife experiences.
A while back, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) released its findings from a commissioned Conservation Sentiments Survey*, conducted to shed light on the attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of Singaporeans on the topic of conservation and sustainability as well as to inspire more to play a part in saving wildlife.
Below are the findings of the survey.
One of the survey’s key areas of focus was to determine how people in Singapore perceived wildlife conservation and the factors that would motivate them to do more. While one in two of those surveyed has participated in wildlife conservation efforts (donation/volunteer work), the top reasons cited for those who have never been involved in such efforts include not having the time (40 percent) or not knowing where to begin (39 percent). However, nearly two in five (38 percent) of those who have not, indicated that they are motivated to take steps towards it.
In fact, of those who actively support social causes, it was found that Generation Z respondents aged between 16 and 24 years old are nearly twice as inclined to support wildlife conservation compared to Singaporeans above 45 years old. Top actions they cited include taking steps in their daily life that would help the environment and wildlife (61 percent); donating to wildlife organizations (58 percent) and visiting wildlife parks/zoos or signing a petition/pledge (51 percent). When asked what might motivate them to do more for wildlife conservation, Generation Z’s top driver was having more financial resources (45 percent).
Meanwhile, the top motivator for millennials aged between 25 and 34 years old is knowing how their actions would create impact (47 percent), while those above 55 years old cited watching an inspiring documentary or movie about wildlife (35 percent) as their top motivator.
Learning About Wildlife Through Modern Zoos
With the availability of technology and online resources in today’s digital age, it is no surprise that three in four Singaporeans learn about wildlife from watching television, movies and documentaries.
However, this does not replace the valuable experience that modern zoos bring as revealed in the survey, with almost eight in ten (76 percent) people who visited WRS parks (Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park) describing it as a great place to learn more about wildlife.
The study also revealed that the impact of these experiences extends beyond the visits - with nearly two-third (60 percent) of those surveyed being inspired to do more for wildlife conservation after they visited a WRS park. These include actions such as reading up about wildlife and/or conservation (36 percent); making sustainable lifestyle/behavioral changes (22 percent) and exploring ways to contribute to wildlife conservation (21 percent).
In addition, the study also found that regular visitors of WRS parks are seven times more likely to participate more regularly in wildlife conservation efforts, compared to those who don’t visit as often.
Zoos Expected to be More Than Leisure Destinations
Apart from being an educational resource and a leisure destination, modern zoos play an important role in safeguarding biodiversity - and public expectations are high on that front.
For WRS parks, in particular, survey respondents looked towards them to provide a protective habitat for animals (69 percent); encourage people to take part in wildlife conservation (61 percent); save animals from extinction (54 percent), and help animals in the wild (39 percent).
Beyond the parks’ boundaries, WRS contributes to local and regional conservation efforts through funding and support in the areas of enabling wildlife-friendly livelihood for local communities, capacity building, education, and awareness-raising. This includes the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF) that was introduced in 2009 to support projects that contribute to Singapore’s biodiversity research and conservation.
Over the last five years, WRS has also supported and funded more than 100 field projects in Southeast Asia, working in collaboration with conservation partners to positively impact more than 68 threatened species and their habitats. As accredited members of international and regional zoo associations, WRS also works closely with the global zoo community to support species-conservation management plans and raise awareness on wildlife conservation issues.
Contributing to Wildlife Conservation Efforts
Whether it is contributing to wildlife conservation efforts through monetary donations, volunteering time or even making sustainable lifestyle changes, WRS offers various ways in which Singaporeans can play an active role.
Some examples include donating through micro-sponsorships or adopting an animal; participating in WRS programs such as Hello from The Wild Side - a virtual interaction session with animals; volunteering as a Conservation Ambassador, docent or Wildlife Buddy or simply visiting one of the four wildlife parks.
WRS also recently introduced its Conservation Included campaign to raise awareness of the impact of each guests’ visit to its conservation efforts in Singapore and the region.
*Conservation Sentiments Survey - Conducted in May 2020 by Milieu Insight, the quantitative research surveyed over 1,000 Singapore residents aged 16 and above, with a general audience that is nationally representative of Singapore’s population by age, gender and household income. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.
Infographic and images courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore